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The Orillia Fish And Game Conservation Club

The George Langman Sanctuary

The George Langman Sanctuary is owned and maintained by The Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club (OFGCC). The sanctuary is a 61 acre plot of land located at the southwest corner of Bass Lake Sideroad and the 14th line of the Township of Oro-Medonte. It is just west of Bass Lake Provincial Park and a short distance from the City of Orillia. The sanctuary is open throughout the year and is free to the public, although a donation to support conservation would be greatly appreciated. The Club purchased the land from Mr. George Langman in 1961 for the price of one dollar. The Club is forever grateful to Mr. Langman and his family for their generous donation. During the 1970’s, the OFGCC dredged several canals throughout the marsh to enhance waterfowl reproduction. This created many small islands where waterfowl can nest and rear their young along the waters edge. During the 1980’s the Club began work on a nature trail around the perimeter of the marsh, to allow the public to enjoy the wildlife as well as the flora and fauna that surround it. The nature trail has been expanded and upgraded throughout the years and is now a well maintained six kilometer trail. While walking along the nature trail, one can expect to see a variety waterfowl such as Canada geese, mute and trumpeter swans, mallard ducks, wood ducks, as well as many other types of ducks which will come and go throughout the day. There are, of course, many smaller birds which can be observe while walking through the sanctuary. The yellow finch and red winged blackbirds are very popular and are commonly sighted around the marsh area. There is abundant wildlife to be seen along the trail, such as deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels and chipmunks, so be ready with your camera! One should also keep an eye open for the many varieties of turtles, frogs, snakes and small invertebrates that call the marsh their home. The sanctuary property is blessed with many varieties of wildflowers which can be seen as you walk along the trails. In the late 1960’s, the OFGCC constructed a bird building which houses a variety of rare upland game birds for public viewing. Currently, it is the home to a variety of pheasants, peafowl, and wild turkeys which can be seen as you enter the sanctuary property. Up on the hill on the northwest corner of the sanctuary property is the “Ted Bagley Memorial Education Building”. The building was constructed by the OFGCC in 1991 and is used as a meeting place for the many club activities, including monthly dinner meetings. With the approval of the Executive Council, the building is offered free of charge to various conservation minded community groups such as Boy Scout and Girl Guides in and around the Orillia area to host their various events. The Education Centre is also used for other meetings and seminars to further education in the field of conservation.

Members of The Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club hope that you will visit and enjoy the sanctuary property. Please do not feed the birds anything except greens (lettuce, cabbage, etc.) or dried corn. We trust that you will respect the wildlife that inhabit the area and endeavour to keep the sanctuary litter-free so that it may be enjoyed by everyone. It is the OFGCC’s goal to preserve this sanctuary not only for this generation, but for future generations.

Swans at the George Langman Sanctuary

Swans at the George Langman Sanctuary

Swans at the George Langman Sanctuary

A number of people have inquired about what happened to the young swans kept at the George Langman Sanctuary. Please be assured that they are all alive and well. Last year one of our adult female swans succumbed due to natural causes and having no mate for the male swan, the club made arrangements with a gentleman who also raises swans, for the loan of a female to accompany our enamoured young male throughout the summer months. A part of that agreement was that the same gentleman would have claim to any signets that were hatched from the eggs of the female during that season. As part of their mating ritual, male swans drive away last years signets in the spring months to avoid competition during the mating season and to ensure that they will go on to raise families of their own. Normally this takes place in April but due to the extremely mild winter, the male swan began to stake his claim earlier than normal and began to peck at the younger swans in an attempt to make them leave. In order to ensure the safety of the younger swans, the club had no choice but to remove them from the enclosure at an earlier than expected date and they were returned to their owner as per our agreement. We trust that they will now go on to raise many more families in their new surroundings.

The George Langman Sanctuary